The sun came out briefly today. Yesterday was so miserable I didn't really mind that much having to work in the morning. Unfortunately some friends were holding a Christmas 'open house' during the best part of the day and being Christmas you feel obliged to go along. Hence there was little time to get out and do any birding apart from a dash out to check the small flock of sheep remaining on the marsh.
The marshes are sodden, the dykes full to the brim and there are large pools of standing water in every field. Everywhere is muddy and the marsh sheep are wearing mud boots up to their elbows from walking through the quagmires associated with gateways. You would think that all this open water would be good for wildfowl but the only ducks out there are a few Mallard and about 50 Teal which actually prefer the dykes bordering the alder wood with overhanging branches.There was even a small party on a pool within the wood itself. Maybe they feel safer from aerial predators hidden amongst the trees. The alder wood had a small party of Siskin and Redpoll feeding high in the trees and I accidentally flushed a Barn Owl from its daytime roost deep in a clump of ivy. Other birds of note were a Yellowhammer fly over, 3 Marsh Harriers quartering the marshes together and a Common Buzzard, otherwise it was pretty quiet.
Work tomorrow then two days off.
Happy Christmas to everyone.